ARCHIE is ready to join in this month's Ballarat Cycle Classic the best way he can - putting his best paw forward in a lake walk with his human Hannah Ladd.
Ms Ladd said Archie was a three-month old puppy in last year's Classic, and she carried him towards the end, but he loved it and had a chance to socialise with other dogs. One year on, Archie walks the whole way around Lake Wendouree and enjoys venturing into the water for a splash in hot weather.
Archie is part of the PETstock team which is helping the Classic for a pet-friendly walk and run about Lake Wendouree in the major fundraiser for Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.
Registrations are up for cycle events, including mountain biking and the new SPUD100, a 160-kilometre challenge in honour of long-time Classic supporter Danny Frawley.
PETstock's Ms Ladd said the six-kilometre walk-run was a great way everyone can involved with 100 per cent of registration fees supporting homegrown cancer research.
"We love supporting this event every year. It's an important walk for us and close to the heart for our team members," Ms Ladd said. "You can bring a buddy along and take it at your own pace. A lot of team members bring their kids and dogs along. It's just about getting out there with friends and family."
Efforts for this year's Classic will boost the Institute's new breast cancer research project, aiming to dramatically change the approach to breast cancer treatment. The Institute has set an ambitious $300,000 target which, on top of seed funding, would allow for a full-fledged program.
FECRI honourary director George Kannourakis has previously told The Courier there is an urgency to breast cancer research due to the fast rise in incidents of the disease in women.
About 20,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Australia each year, an almost 40 per cent increase the past 40 years in an ageing population.
Breast cancer is also the second biggest cancer killer in women with more than 3,100 female deaths each year in Australia. It can also occur in men.
The Institute's research could mean an end to removing breast tissue or patients enduring intense chemotherapy.
And you you need to do to help is join Archie and Ms Ladd for a walk, or get on your bike and ride.
All pet entrants get their own bandana to wear on the lakeside adventure. PETstock is also debuting its new jumping castle (for children) into the event village. The team will also have lots of games and pet care advice on hand.
Ballarat Cycle Classic is on February 16. Details: ballaratcycleclassic.com.au.
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